Black-crowned Tchagra at the bottom of Raydah Escarpment – Abha

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Whilst birding the bottom of the Raydah Escarpment in late March I came across a . This was a new species for me in and one I was surprised I had not seen before. The bird was at the bottom of the Raydah Escarpment an area known to attract several African species and the bird was in relatively dense cover for most of the time.

There are a number of subspecies of Black-crowned Tchagra with the one occurring in southwest Saudi Arabia, west and east Yemen and southern Oman T. s. percivali. This subspecies is distinctive, and has its upperparts and underparts uniform dark grey, but chin and throat white.

It differs from all other races in lacking any vestige of black or rufous on the scapulars and in having central tail feathers black (not grey-brown) a white supercilium and unpatterened tertials. The species is mainly an African one with the birds in Arabia the only subspecies occurring outside of the African continent. They are an uncommon bird seen only in the southwest of the Kingdom.

Black-crowned Tchagra
Black-crowned Tchagra
Black-crowned Tchagra

 

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Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

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